Former Utica resident Lee Merkel got the last laugh this week after requesting that his favorite football team be included in his own obituary. What was his team? The Buffalo Bills.

Merkel of Raleigh, North Carolina, passed away at the age of 83. The Utica OD reports that the last line of his obituary took a dig at his “beloved Buffalo Bills.”

“Lee has requested six Buffalo Bills players as pall bearers so they can let him down one last time,” it reads.

Merkel’s son Mark Merkel, who also lives in Raleigh, told WKBW in Buffalo that his father got the idea from a similar line in the obituary of a Cleveland Browns fan."

Merkel was no stranger to Central New York. He settled in Utica in 1971 after leaving the Army. You might remember that he owned the Hess Gas Station on Genesee Street in South Utica from 1972 until 2010, and was involved with several local organizations including the Utica Optimist Club, Free Masons Lodge #47, Utica Maennerchor and South Utica Little League Baseball.

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